Tom Yum – Thai Hot & Sour Soup

My dad LOVES Tom Yum; the real one, with shrimps swimming inside, therefore he was puzzled when I told him I am going to make a vegan version. “Tell me”, he said, “how can one make shrimpless Tom Yum?”.

I knew he was joking and I am sure that if he was around to taste my version of this wonderful soup he’d agree that shrimps aren’t necessary at all!


Tom Yum is a rich soup, full with flavors but still pretty simple to make.  The only serious work is to get some of the ingredients; you will probably have to visit the Asian supermarket near you but it’s worth it, I promise!

Ingredients for a big pot of Tom Yum (3-4 big servings):

The Must Haves:

  • 2 stalks lemongrass – sliced


  • Half a red chili – mine was a not so spicy one – spiciness control is important! Adjust to your own preferences!
  • One small piece of galangal – or ginger in case you can’t find galangal – minced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – minced


  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves – I used dry ones
  • 2 spoons of chili paste – red and spicy! [or Tom Yum paste]
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • A dash of salt

The Up To Yous

  • Mushrooms – the mushroomphile in me went wild and got Enoki, Shimeji and King Oyster (<3)


  • Medium zucchini – sliced into thick stripes
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes – sliced
  • 2-3 scallions – sliced – leave some for garnish


  • A small package of rice noodles – I had some vermicelli around so why not?
  • Half a jar of bamboo shoots – had this in the fridge as well
  • Cilantro – a few leaves for garnish once serving

I also planned on adding tofu cubes but the pot was full after I added the mushrooms; it was not needed at all but can be a nice addition if you are low on mushrooms.


  • Fry the minced garlic, minced galangal and sliced chili in a bit of coconut oil (or any other oil actually) – stir well
  • After 1 minute add water – I just filled the pot 2/3 of water, I have no idea about quantities
  • Add the sliced lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and bring to boil
  • After 5 minutes of boiling, carefully, fish out the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves – they are not very pleasant to chew on!


  • Lower the heat
  • Add 2 spoons of chili paste – or three, depends how spicy you like it
  • Add a bit of salt
  • Add the veggies – I started with the zucchini and tomatoes
  • Squeeze half a lime into the water – leave the other half for later


  • Add the mushrooms and the bamboo shoots – the idea is not to overcook the mushrooms so they can be added last





  • Add the vermicelli   
  • Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes
  • Fix the taste – is something missing? Add more chili paste, salt or lime juice if needed
  • Stir well
  • Serve hot, with fresh cilantro and a sliced scallion



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One Comment

Leave a Reply